Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt Poynette, WI
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The Hearth, as seen through lime-colored glasses

The Hearth, as seen through lime-colored glasses
November 8, 2010 Mary Jo

Weeks ago, I hinted at some major redecorating going on at the Acres.  We had received our new wood burning stove with much cheering and fanfare, the energy of which I immediately harnessed and converted to “Now we have to finally paint the living room!” vigor.  What a process it was. (and still is – not quite done)  That paint chip you may have noticed wedged in the molding of a doorway for nearly three years was magically transformed into gallons of paint the color of limeade.  Oh, how we love it! We flexed our muscles and found we had the wherewithal to do some tile work:  a trip to the ReStore for some lovely travertine tiles, a borrowed tile saw, and some grout the color of mocha frosting quickly turned into a hearth pad.  We have yet to finish the edges, which we plan on doing with more tile.

An unused front entryway was opened up, cleaned out, and spiffed up to house our LR wood stash, winter gear, a bench, and our fleet of trucks.  (missing from this picture is the one Errol was riding)

Having sold my antique school-bench-turned-plant-stand that offered winter refuge to my perpetually-blooming geraniums, I needed an alternate solution.  It’s handy to have a heaping pile of exquisitely-aged barn wood out my back door, and handy too that Etsy is only a click away, offering vintage cast iron shelf brackets.

The cream/off-white piece hanging on the wall is one from a series I did years ago, featuring a recipe collection from a woman named Dorothy, the entirety of which I stitched together onto three canvas pieces.  While it’s not new to the living room, it is much happier set against the lime color.

This new solution to our dress-up-clothes-and-gear nightmare was no doubt germinated years ago by something I saw on SouleMama. Either she did this very thing with a vintage trunk or did something so similar I jumped up from my chair and filed away the idea for my very own vintage trunk, that same one I’ve had since college, when I paid a cab driver to help me haul it from a thrift store, up the elevator, and to my second-floor door.  (I doubt I tipped him nearly enough) That same trunk that has served as coffee table, TV stand, and nostalgic pack-rat memorabilia stash place has now fully come into its own as a clever Dress-up Clothes Containment Device.  But the props here go to Amanda for the idea.

All of the switch plate and outlet covers remind us of where we’ve been and lamentably, how long it’s been since we were there.  Hmm.  That sounds rather depressing, no?  Perhaps they merely sit in encouragement for a trip back to Europe soon!

To be noted:  vintage iron rests make the absolute best wall sconce reflectors.  Needlework piece was thrifted, cleaned, and then resurrected after a painfully-long stint in triage before being re-stretched and hung.

Got a little thing for suitcases.  Vintage ones, of course, but you can only have so many suitcases around stashing this and that. (not shown in these pics is the vintage suitcase lined with a blanket which serves as a stylish dog bed)  At some point, though, I had an amazing breakthrough, when something in my subconscious suggested opening the suitcase up and making a shelf out of it.  I’d be surprised if you didn’t see more of these popping up in my house in the future.  (Fair warning, Dear) The internal shelf divisions are made from fabric covered foamcore, so you know how limited they are in what they will support, but are perfectly suited for holding our modest speakers.

So there you have it.  Stop by sometime and we’ll rock a bit in front of the fire, sip some tea, and remark how remarkably-transformed the room is, that room which was so cold and inhospitable in winters past.  The air will smell faintly of wood smoke, the kids can play dress-up or dig into the basket of musical instruments at hand.  Assuredly, though, our fingers will be nimble enough for as much knitting as our time will allow, thanks to the ample warmth of the hearth.

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